While finishing up this Halloween's selection of survival horror games, I decided to briefly play the earliest game I put in my list as survival horror. That is 1982's The Alien, by Avalon Hill, published on the Apple II, FM-7 and PC-88. At least those are the versions Mobygames confirms as existing, there may be others. The Alien is not a survival horror game by most stretches of the term, it is in fact a strategy game based off the first Alien movie.
|This screen changes around quite a bit, which I thought was cool|
|I definitely understand what's going on here|
|Well, why do I have the option to do anything then!?|
|I'm getting Junji Ito vibes from this|
Enter Nostromo, a game released in a type-in magazine. If you don't know what a type-in magazine is, its a magazine with games you type into a computer, back when every one had a copy of Basic included with it. Nostromo was released in the second issue of AX, published by ASCII, hence the name attached to the game in places, AX-2. Released sometime in 1982, by Hiromi Ohba, who would have a moderate career over the years as an audio programmer. Other people and a 1981 release date are stated online but both the magazine and the source code confirm these are not true.
|Playing card suits are an abstraction, I hope|
|The "a" is the alien|
|The Japanese version of The Alien, which came out in '84|
What's funny is that the 1984 Alien game, by Argus Press rips off The Alien for its gameplay loop. While I can't tell if that game is popular, it mostly just pops up links to download it, I have heard that game mentioned. It just hasn't spawned the few articles that Nostromo has. That, however, is a tale for another day.